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‘How to Resist: Turn Protest to Power’ 
with Matthew Bolton

Wednesday 27th September,7pm

‘How to Resist: Turn Protest to Power’  with Matthew Bolton in conversation with Wail Qasim
Wednesday 27th September, 7pm

HOUSMANS PEACE DIARY LAUNCH: ‘The Women's Peace Crusade 1917-1918’ with Alison Ronan 
Wednesday 4th October,7pm

‘We're Queer And We Should Be Here: The perils and pleasures of being a gay football fan’ with Darryl Telles
Friday 6th October, 7pm

‘The Last London’ with Iain Sinclair
Wednesday 11th October, 7pm

‘Out of his struggles - the poems of Kosuke Shirasu’ with Bruce Barnes, and reader Akiko Shindo
Friday 13th October, 7pm

Peace News present: ‘1917: The Nonviolent Russian Revolution’ with Milan Rai 
Wednesday 25th October, 7pm

Peace education poetry event with the poet Anthony Owen  
Thursday 2nd November, 7pm

Left Book Club Present: ‘Student Revolt:  Voices of the Austerity Generation’ with Matt Myers
Wednesday 8th November, 7pm

‘The History Thieves: Secrets, Lies and the Shaping of a Modern Nation’ with Ian Cobain in conversation with Wail Qasim 
Wednesday 15th November, 7pm

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Sunday 12 noon to 6pm

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We regularly have a variety of events in the shop, and are always welcome for suggestions from authors, artists and campaigners who want to use the shop for evening events. Past events include talks, book signings, film screenings, art exhibitions and musical performances.

Click here for an archive; which includes a number of selected filmed highlights, of our previous events. Also, you can view video from some special events here.

Click the following button if you would like to directly add our events to your smartphone or desktop calendar using Google Calendar.

‘Tan Raptures’ with Alan Morrison and further readings from Niall McDevitt and Chris McCabe
Thursday 21st September,7pm

Taking its title from the brown envelopes that strike fear into benefit-claimants and the biblical ‘Rapture’, Alan Morrison’s eighth collection imagines these letters as passports to a twisted Tory notion of salvation through benefit sanction.

Tan Raptures is a series of verse-missives from the frontline of the war against the poor and its spirit-stripping weapons of food banks, poor doors and homeless spikes.

It’s a people’s history, from Dale Farm and the firebombing of the Freedom Bookshop to Troika-shackled Athens, featuring the Bryant & May Matchgirls, the International Brigades, the Runnymede Diggers, Los Indignados, Gerrard Winstanley, Joe Hill, Wal Hannington, Conrad Noël and Christopher Caudwell.

The title poem is a Catholic Socialist polemic in opposition to self-proclaimed ‘Roman Catholic’ Iain Duncan Smith’s despotic six year grip at the DWP.

Alan Morrison’s poetry collections include A Tapestry of Absent Sitters, Keir Hardie Street, Captive Dragons, Blaze a Vanishing and Shadows Waltz Haltingly. He edited two anti-austerity anthologies, Emergency Verse and The Robin Hood Book and is the founding editor of The Recusant and of Militant Thistles.

Alan is joined by Niall McDevitt and Chris McCabe who will be reading from their respective works.

 Niall McDevitt > poet > author of b/w (Waterloo Press, 2010) and Porterloo (International Times, 2012) > urban explorer > radical pedestrian who leads Shakespeare/Blake/Rimbaud /Yeats walks, among others.

Chris McCabe’s collections include The Hutton Inquiry (2005), Zeppelins (2008) THE RESTRUCTURE (2012, all with Salt Publishing) and Speculatrix (Penned in the Margins, 2014). He has recorded a CD with the Poetry Archive and had work in a number of anthologies, including The Best of British Poetry 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015. His plays Shad Thames, Broken Wharf and Mudflats have been performed in London and Liverpool.

‘How to Resist: Turn Protest to Power’
with Matthew Bolton
in conversation with Wail Qasim
Wednesday 27th September,7pm

It's easy to feel dispirited by the world around us. We need change but as one person alone, it can all seem far too daunting. What can one person alone achieve? Where to begin?

How to Resist reminds us that all great social change movements in history have been organised by ordinary people coming together, being brave and changing the course of history. Whoever and wherever we are, if we want to effect change, the first step is to look at ourselves. We need to think about what we care about, what motivates us and how we want to be remembered. We need to do more than react against others: we need to look forwards.

With illuminating stories and clear procedures, change seems genuinely achievable. Matthew Bolton, who created and led the successful campaign in Britain that led to millions of people in the UK being given the Living Wage, calmly and clearly shows us how together, we can effect positive change in the world around us.


“There's a huge appetite right now for radical change and How to Resist can equip a generation of politically engaged young people with the practical tools to organise and campaign” –  Paul Mason

“An amazingly inspiring book coming at just the right moment. A leading light in an invaluable organisation, Matthew Bolton really knows how to make stuff happen - and he wants you to know too. You might have heard that things don't have to be this way - here's the official guidebook to changing them” –  Marina Hyde

About the speaker

Matthew Bolton, Deputy Director of Citizens UK and Lead Organiser for London Citizens, has built a nationwide alliance of thousands of community campaigners who have driven two of the most effective, strategic and widest-reaching campaigns in the UK of the past two decades.

The Refugee Welcome and Safe Passage campaign has secured entry for over 1,100 vulnerable Syrian children, including hundreds from the 'jungle' camps of Calais.

Launch Event
Women Created This Too:
Women in the Creative Industry

Thursday 28th September, 7pm - 10pm
Please note this is a free event but you must book your space here.

WCTT is a networking space for self-defining women in the creative industries to share ideas, advice, experiences and to actively help each other progress in our careers. If you would like to find out more about how women can support one another in the creative industries then join us for an evening of discussion and drinks.

Entry is free but spaces for this event are limited and ticketed. Please book your space here.

Creative Industry Panel + Networking

Nikoo Sadr - Interactive marketing manager at music & entertainment distribution company 'The Orchard'.

Sophie Slater - Co-founder of feminist fashion brand 'Birdsong'.

Grace Vee - Make up artist with Carol Hayes Management.

Hosted by singer/songwriter Ayelle.

‘The Women's Peace Crusade 1917-1918’
with Alison Ronan
Wednesday 4th October,7pm
Free Entry

To celebrate the launch of this year’s Housmans Peace Diary we welcome Dr Alison Ronan to tell the lesser-known tale of the antimilitarist, socialist and internationalist Women’s Peace Crusade, which spread like wildfire across the country during the last years of the First World War.

Her book on the subject contains new research about these spontaneous women-led demonstrations against the war. It tells of riots in Oldham, stories of local women imprisoned for handling out anti-war material, and remembers the unsung heroes made up from the ranks of weavers and spinners of Oldham, Rochdale, Blackburn, Bolton,  Burnely and Nelson.

The research is the result of a co-production project between Voices of War and Peace, Manchester Metropolitan University,  Manchester Centre for Regional History, archives +, Clapham Film Unit and Peace News.

The themes of the study chime with that of the 2018 Housmans Peace Diary, which includes a special feature relating to the centenary of the end of the First World War. It looks at anti-militarist approaches to the end of a war: at new movements and alternative symbols which that period gave rise to; and to a century of building reconciliation and resistance to militarism.  This year the cover art for the diary has been drawn by celebrated artist Kate Evans, whose previous work includes the graphic novels Red Rosa and Threads, published by Verso.  

‘We're Queer And We Should Be Here: The perils and pleasures of being a gay football fan’
with Darryl Telles
Friday 6th October, 7pm
Free Entry

Darryl Telles discusses his personal experiences of homophobia and racism as a football fan, and his wider campaign work to change the culture around and within football.

Telles’s sexuality is as important to him as his lifelong passion for his beloved Tottenham Hotspur, yet like other gay football supporters, he has had to endure decades of abuse and threats from homophobic fellow fans in a sport where homosexuality is still so reviled that there is not a single ‘out’ gay player in the top four tiers of the Football League.

This is the story of his campaign against homophobia in the football world, his work with the Gay Football Supporters Network (GFSN) and his attempts to advance the cause through media publicity and TV interviews.

“Most of the crowd are white, so you stick out because of your brown face. They're singing the sort of chants that make you feel unwelcome, and not only because of your colour - they just can't stand anyone who's a poof, an arsebandit, a queer or a raving homosexual. And that's exactly what you are…”


‘The Last London’ with Iain Sinclair

Wednesday 11th October, 7pm
**Ticketed event: entry £3, redeemable against any purchase.
Tickets here**

Housmans are proud to welcome seasoned London chronicler Iain Sinclair on the publication of his latest book The Last London, an angry, poignant and frequently hilarious elegy to a London that Sinclair feels has lost its soul.

Iain Sinclair has been documenting the peculiar magic of the river-city that absorbs and obsesses him for most of his adult life. In The Last London, he strikes out on a series of solitary walks and collaborative expeditions to make a final reckoning with a capital stretched beyond recognition. Here is a mesmerising record of secret scholars and whispering ghosts. Of disturbing encounters. Night hospitals. Pits that become cameras. Mole Man labyrinths. And privileged swimming pools, up in clouds, patrolled by surveillance helicopters. Where now are the myths, the ultimate fictions of a many times revised city?

Travelling from the pinnacle of the Shard to the outer limits of the London Overground system at Croydon and Barking, from the Thames Estuary to the future ruins of Olympicopolis, Sinclair reflects on where London begins and where it ends. A memoir, a critique, a love letter, The Last London is a delirious conclusion to a truly epic project.

**Ticketed event: entry £3, redeemable against any purchase. Tickets here**

‘Out of his struggles - the poems of Kosuke Shirasu’
with Bruce Barnes, and reader Akiko Shindo
Friday 13th October,7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Kosuke Shirasu (1905-1943) was born in Tokyo, and worked as a journalist and pamphleteer. His involvement in the Japanese Communist Party was reflected in his work in Akita City, producing and circulating a newsletter for local workers as well as documenting the farmers’ riots against local landowners. In 1928 he joined NAPF, the All Japan Federation of Proletarian Arts, contributing to its official magazine, Battle Flag; by 1930 he had collected and published many of these contributions in his pamphlet Strike. 

Proletarian writers such as Kosuke worked under extremely adverse conditions: state censorship, the mass arrests of communists and other political activists that began in 1928, and the impact on morale of the renunciation of communism by the Party’s two most experienced activists, Manabu Sano and Sadachika Nabeyama, in 1933.

His poems are influenced by European styles of free verse and often explore multiple perspectives; however his main concern appears to be a desire to record the day to day experience of workers in struggle.   

The ‘interpretation’ process

Over a four year period, Jun Shirasu, the poet’s grandson, searched libraries and journals for Kosuke’s work and then shared his partial English translation with the co-author Bruce Barnes; a definitive interpretation was then developed through email exchange, and through Bruce Barnes background reading on the Japanese social history of the period, the development of Communism and the proletarian writers movement in Japan.       

About Ichiko Shirasu

Ichiko Shirasu, the poet’s daughter, was the inspiration for the publication: a BBC World Service journalist, translator, and a polymath who kept faith with her father’s socialist principles by demonstrating them through her kindness and generosity. Sadly, her untimely death meant that she was unable to see her idea come to fruition.

The reading is in memory of Ichiko. 

Peace News present:
‘1917: The Nonviolent Russian Revolution’ with Milan Rai

Wednesday 25th October, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Launch of a new Peace News pamphlet written by Milan Rai, highlighting the crucial role of mass nonviolent action in the Russian Revolution 100 years ago.

The Russian Revolution started in Petrograd in February 1917 with a mass nonviolent uprising of women protesting against the lack of break on International Women's Day (pictured), and continued through to the overthrow of the Provisional Government in October 1917 and the triumph of the Bolsheviks.

The role of mass nonviolent action - in the streets, in the factories, on the railways, and in the barracks - in the making of the revolution has never been properly emphasised. For example, the attempted coup by General Kornilov in August was defeated not by gunfire but by nonviolent action

The evening will include a critique of Neil Faulkner's A People's History of the Russian Revolution, paying attention to the way that Lenin and the Bolsheviks diminished and then crushed the grassroots workers' revolution of soviets and factory committees. 

About the Speaker

Milan Rai is an anarchist and radical activist, editor at Peace News, and the author of ‘Chomsky's Politics’ (Verso, 1995) and ‘War Plan Iraq’ (Verso, 2002) among other books. He is currently working on ‘The Anarchist Reader’ for Verso.

Peace education poetry event with the poet Anthony Owen 
Thursday 2nd November, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase
Please RSVP to Owen Everett at

Anthony will read from his fifth collection of poetry, 'The Nagasaki Elder' (V.Press), which was inspired by his experiences growing up during the Cold War, and travelling to Hiroshima in 2015 to hear testimonies of atomic-bomb survivors. You can read more about Anthony, including his biography, at
The book has been described as: 
stark and vivid… the Senru poems… leave powerful and indelible images that haunt you long after the poem has been read and absorbed.’ - Hong Kong Review of Books (see  
                ‘both tender and melancholic, and his imagery of flesh transmuted is as beautiful as it is horrific.  This book sings and weeps of loss’ -  Helen Ivory (
                ‘his best yet’ - Morning Star (

There will also be: a Q&A with Anthony; a creative writing activity for all those present - facilitated by Anthony; a brief overview of the work of CND Peace Education; and mingling (with free drinks and nibbles!).
BOOK YOUR SEAT! Entrance costs £3: this is redeemable against any purchase from the shop, and there will be a nice array of free drinks and nibbles. RSVP to Owen Everett at (though you can of course try just turning up on the night). We are particularly keen to have some children/teenagers there, so please bring your children/grandchildren/nieces/nephews etc if they are keen!     

Left Book Club Present:

‘Student Revolt:  Voices of the Austerity Generation’
with Matt Myers
Wednesday 8th November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Left Book Club launch their most recent title Student Revolt: Voices of the Austerity Generation which focuses on the 2010 student protests. Author Matt Myers will be discussing his experience as a participant and reflecting on the lessons that can be learned from the movement.

Whatever happened to the student revolt? In 2010 young people across Britain took to the streets to defy a wave of government attacks on education, increasing tuition fees, and cuts to grants for college students. Months of occupations, 'kettling' and outbreaks of violence ensued, but to what effect? Today, students face new attacks on higher education from the current Conservative government.

Student Revolt tells the story of the year that introduced a generation to the power of the mass movement, through the voices of the people involved. Activists', students', university-occupiers', young workers' and politicians' testimonies are woven together to create a narrative which starkly captures both the deep divisions as well as the intense energy that sprung from its actors. The 'Millbank Generation' has since moved on - some fell into political inactivity - but many went on to explore different forms of politics, where they continue to fight.

This book will provide poignant reminder of the revolt for today's activists, as well as an opportunity to reflect on its many lessons. With an introduction from journalist Paul Mason, Student Revolt: Voices of the Austerity Generation gathers testimonies from figures including Vince Cable, Aaron Bastani, David Willetts, Nina Power and Malia Bouattia to tell the story of the year that introduced a generation to "the power of the mass movement".


'The student revolt represented a turning point in British politics. It was the first visible sign that austerity would meet resistance and, we hope, will eventually be reversed. But less visible, until now, was what lessons the students took from those days of rage. In the words of participants, Myers' important work captures a sense of the trajectory that leads us from Millbank in 2010 to Jeremy Corbyn today' - Chris Williamson, Labour MP for Derby North

About the Author

Matt Myers is a doctoral student at the University of Oxford. A writer and contributor to several publications and journals, he was a participant in the 2010 student movement.

‘The History Thieves: Secrets, Lies and the Shaping of a Modern Nation’
with Ian Cobain in conversation with Wail Qasim

Wednesday 15th November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

From the birth of the first Official Secrets Act in 1889 to present times, investigative journalist Ian Cobain takes a look at the history of the British Government’s clandestine bureaucracy and its political impact on the nation.

In 1889, the first Official Secrets Act was passed, creating offences of 'disclosure of information' and 'breach of official trust'. It limited and monitored what the public could, and should, be told. Since then a culture of secrecy has flourished.

As successive governments have been selective about what they choose to share with the public, we have been left with a distorted and incomplete understanding not only of the workings of the state but of our nation's culture and its past.

In this important book, Ian Cobain offers a fresh appraisal of some of the key moments in British history since the end of WWII, including: the measures taken to conceal the existence of Bletchley Park and its successor, GCHQ, for three decades; the unreported wars fought during the 1960s and 1970s; the hidden links with terrorist cells during the Troubles; the sometimes opaque workings of the criminal justice system; the state's peacetime surveillance techniques; and the convenient loopholes in the Freedom of Information Act.

Drawing on previously unseen material and rigorous research, The History Thieves reveals how a complex bureaucratic machine has grown up around the British state, allowing governments to evade accountability and their secrets to be buried.


‘[A] terrifying account of politics and cover-ups since the 1889 Official Secrets Act. Spin? This is dizzying, disturbing stuff’- Jeanette Winterson, Best Books of 2016

‘A meticulously researched, eye-opening triumph. Essential reading in the age of Snowden and Assange’ - Charles Cumming

‘An engrossing account of how government officials burned the records of imperial rule as the British empire came to an end’ - Ian Jack

‘Cobain gives an authoritative and accessible account of the lengths the British authorities have gone to in order to keep secrets from its citizens since the nineteenth century’ - Samantha Newberry

‘Cobain's easy prose turns potentially dry subject matter into an intriguing set of stories... Cobain punches holes in the idea that Britain is an open, transparent country and he worries about the growing trend towards 'closed procedures' in the justice system. While concerned with protecting civil liberties and holding government to account, this book also questions the core of national identity. If so much of their history is concealed, the British are not who they think they are’- Hazel Healy

‘[The History Thieves] sets out the history of state secrecy and its vital importance in shaping the public image of the nation... Cobain's book demonstrates the function that secrecy played in allowing the British state to maintain a veneer of accountability and transparency. To peek behind this veneer is to see the atrocities committed during wars of decolonization, the secret deployment of British troops in various theaters of war, the colonial files hidden in secret archives, the cover-up of state-sponsored death squads in Northern Ireland, and the obstruction of justice through secret courts’ - Rosa Gilbert

About the Author

Ian Cobain was born in Liverpool in 1960. He has been a journalist since the early 1980s and is currently an investigative reporter with the Guardian. His inquiries into the UK's involvement in torture since 9/11 have won a number of major awards, including the Martha Gellhorn Prize and the Paul Foot Award for investigative journalism. He has also won several Amnesty International media awards. Cobain lives in London with his wife and two children.




Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, King’s Cross,
London, N1 9DX
tel: 020 7837 4473